Growing up, most of our lives were sprinkled with frequent visits to the dentist where we would be repeatedly told to brush our teeth twice a day. Naturally, for most of us, that’s the beginning and end of oral hygiene. However, knowing how to maintain oral hygiene is so much more than that.
For starters, brushing your teeth is incomplete if you’re not complementing it with dental floss. Knowing how to floss is essential because the bristles of your toothbrush seldom make it to the little corners and edges of your teeth. The plaque that gets accumulated between your teeth needs to be cleaned out, and only a dental floss can make that happen. Other flossing benefits include protection of gums and prevention of diseases like gingivitis.
Once you know how to floss your teeth, it’s important to spend some time caring for your tongue as well. A build-up of plaque on the tongue can lead to bad breath (embarrassing!). Another benefit of cleaning your tongue regularly is that it can prevent severe oral hygiene issues like tongue infections and swelling.
If you’re still feeling a little confused about these things, don’t worry! We’re here to help you figure out how to clean your tongue and teeth in the best way possible. Read on for a complete guide on tongue cleaning and flossing.
How To Floss Teeth
If you’re wondering on how to floss your back teeth as well as your front teeth, here’s a step-wise guide to help you out:
Step 1: Pick the right type of floss for yourself. You can always ask your dentist for recommendations.
Step 2: Wrap up about 18 inches of the dental floss around your middle finger. Leave only 2-3 inches for cleaning the teeth.
Step 3: Hold the remaining floss tightly between your index fingers and thumb.
Step 4: Slide it in between any two teeth.
Step 5: Move it in an up-and-down direction as well a C-shape direction. Make sure you cover all accessible areas before moving on to the next tooth.
Step 6: Use a new and clean section of the floss for every tooth.
Step 7: After you have flossed all your teeth, rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash.
How To Use Tongue Cleaner
Learning on how to use a tongue cleaner is a crucial part of maintaining oral hygiene. Check out this step-by-step guide for the same:
Step 1: Rinse the tongue scraper with water. Make sure it’s clean.
Step 2: Place it at the back of your tongue and scrape your way to the tip of your tongue.
Step 3: Repeat this process 2-3 times until the tongue looks clean. Reminder: Do not apply too much pressure or you might bruise your tongue.
Step 4: Rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash.
Step 5: Rinse the tongue cleaner with water.
FAQs On How To Maintain Oral Hygiene
1. What is a water flosser?
A water flosser is a handheld device that releases water into the mouth at regular intervals. This helps in removing food and other dirt particles stuck between the teeth. This is a great product for anyone who is unable to floss manually with their hands. People who have dental fixtures, like braces, in their mouth would benefit from a water flosser. For the best water flosser that suits you, speak to your dentist for a recommendation.
2. How often should you scrape your tongue?
Knowing how to use a tongue cleaner is not enough if you’re not using it regularly. You must scrape your tongue with the cleaner at least once a day. However, it’s important to observe your tongue and clean it as frequently as required. You can also clean it twice a day. Ideally, combine this process with the teeth-brushing one to achieve long-lasting oral hygiene benefits. Better oral hygiene automatically means fewer visits to the dentist!
3. Is it better to floss before or after brushing?
It is important to brush and floss your teeth in the correct order. Flossing your teeth before brushing is ideal because flossing is meant to remove the plaque and food residue from all the hard-to-reach crevices in your teeth. If you floss after brushing, then the plaque and dirt will end up sitting in your mouth until the next time you brush again. Hence, always floss first and then brush your teeth. This will also leave your mouth with fresh, minty breath.
4. Is there a wrong way to floss?
Flossing is no rocket science however, it is easy to go wrong. If you floss too fast or in the wrong direction, you might end up damaging your teeth. Moreover, if you do not insert the floss properly, youth teeth might remain unclean. Flossing too often also might lead to damaged gums. So, pay attention to how and how often you floss.
5. What is poor oral hygiene?
Poor oral hygiene can manifest in many ways like tongue swelling, bleeding gums, toothache, sensitivity etc. If you experience any of these, make sure to visit your dentist and get your teeth checked.
6. What are the basics of oral hygiene?
Here are some tips to ensure good oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Do not go to bed without brushing.
- Floss your teeth regularly.
- Clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner regularly.
- Rinse your mouth with a mouthwash.
- Pay regular visits to your dentist.
- When brushing, flossing, or tongue-cleaning, make sure you’re practicing good technique.
7. What are the different oral hygiene products?
Mouth wash, tooth powder, electric toothbrush etc. – the world of dental hygiene products is vast and exciting. Here are some other dental hygiene products you must include in your routine: